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Reader's Digest, 24 November - 7 December 2018



Ambassador Honors Individual Contributors in Bilateral Relations
Published by, November 26th 2018
The Swiss Ambassador to China Jean-Jacques de Dardel hosted a dinner reception at the ambassador's residence on November 19th, to commend individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the development of China-Switzerland relations, and issued the Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Contribution to Sino-Swiss Relations. There were 11 new individuals in the political, economic, scientific, cultural and media fields in China and Switzerland that were honored by the embassy, along with five others who had already received the certificate at previous receptions. The Swiss Ambassador to China issued certificates to 10 individuals who participated in the event and offered his appreciation in his opening remarks at the dinner to the receivers for their contributions to the sound development of people-to-people friendship between China and Switzerland.

Business news

Chinese Tourists Flock to Europe
Published by, November 29th 2018
Chinese tourists almost doubled their travels to Europe in the first half of 2018, compared with the same period in 2017. This was one of the key findings of the “China-Europe Tourism Big Data Report for the First Half of 2018” released by China Tourism Academy CTA and presented by Welcome Chinese, the official certification of the Chinese government managed by Select Holding. According to the data centre of China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, 71.31 million Chinese travelled abroad in the first half of 2018. With the promotion of China-Europe tourism cooperation under the framework of the 2018 “China- Europe Tourist Year”, Chinese tourists enjoyed more convenient access in terms of visas and flights, which boosted trips to Europe. “Under the framework of cooperation, bilateral tourism exchanges we are facing the finest historical period,” said Chinese Tourism Academy president, Dai Bin. “As the second largest destination region for Chinese citizens traveling overseas, it is hoped that Europe is not only important for Chinese tourists, but also friendly.” The top 10 European destinations for the first half of 2018 were: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Greece, Czech Republic and Hungary. opular tour routes booked by Chinese travellers were: France-Italy- Switzerland, One-country in-depth tour, Two countries in-depth tour, Special three-country tour, Multi-country connection (four countries or more), Eastern Europe, Northern Europe + Russia.
Swiss Watch Exports Back on Track
Published by, November 28th 2018
Swiss watch exports rebounded in October on a surge in orders for luxury watches. In September, exports fell 6.9% in value, the first drop in 16 months. That was an "isolated fall," said the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH). In October, exports rose 7.2% versus October 2017 to CHF 1.99 billion (the figure is virtually the same in dollars), according to the FH, which issues the data. The data indicates the value of watch shipments from Switzerland to watch company subsidiaries and agents around the world. It does not reflect sales to end-users. "The three foremost countries and many other smaller countries reported double-digit growth," the FH said in a statement. "Hong Kong gained 10.3% and the United States 11.1%. China recorded one of its biggest monthly increases for the year at +24.1%." October's jump allayed any fears of a slowdown in the Swiss-watch recovery, which began in the second half of last year. The Swiss watch industry is now poised for a second consecutive growth year, but at a much better pace than last year's 2.7% increase. Through the first 10 months of 2018, Swiss watch exports are up 7.5% in value.
Datwyler Considering Expansion into China's Health Care Market
Published by, November 28th 2018
Datwyler is currently evaluating entry into the Chinese health care market via "acquisition or a greenfield approach," according to a company spokesman. A particular focus is on components for injectable drugs, which currently are imported into China, Datwyler head corporate communication Guido Unternaehrer said in a written statement. The Swiss company's spokesman declined to comment further on the plans for China but pointed out that Datwyler's health care business is undergoing a phase of global-expansion. Recent investments include an upgrade to the company's existing plant in Pune, India, to first line standards in the first half of the year, and the opening of a U.S. plant in Middletown, Del., for which customer validation is ongoing. According to Unternaehrer, the first line standard is based on advanced cleanroom technology, automated production, camera inspection and special cleaning processes. Overall, he said, expansion programs are set to increase Datwyler's "first line" production by 50% by 2020. The company's current total production —including its first line, advanced and essential ranges—stands at 17 billion pieces a year. Datwyler's health care segment is part of a sealing solutions division and manufactures medical and pharmaceutical parts, including rubber vial and syringe components.
Breitling Celebrates China Entry with Gala in Beijing Featuring Brad Pitt and Daniel Wu
Published by, November 24th 2018
Breitling celebrated its entry into the Chinese market and stars including Brad Pitt and Daniel Wu took to the red carpet at a gala held at the Phoenix Center in Beijing. Stars part of the “Squads” that Breitling formed this year were at hand to mark the company’s entry into the Chinese market. The Cinema Squad was represented by members Brad Pitt and Daniel Wu. From the Surfers Squad, Sally Fitzgibbons made her presence felt as she joined other celebrities including world-famous photographer and director Peter Lindbergh. Stars from the region were also present including Chinese actor Li Zonghan and actress Qi Wei, who joined Shin Se-Kyung, the South Korean actress. Representing the world of fashion from Japan was designer Motofumi “Poggy” Kogi. Actor Daniel Wu of “Into the Badlands” series fame joined Brad Pitt and reunited with Lindbergh who captured them in a photo shoot earlier this year. The world renowned Swiss luxury watch manufacturer entered the Chinese market with a flagship store in the city of Beijing, which opened a few months ago. At the Phoenix Center, 500 guests who were invited to the event mingled on the red carpet and within the building that was illuminated in blue to mimic the corporate color favored by Breitling. The center was decorated to reflect how Breitling creates timepieces for the “air, land and sea.” Music for the gala was provided by the Beijing Percussion Art Troupe, accompanied by a number of the city’s best musicians. CEO of Breitling, Georges Kern, introduced the guests and stated that the gala “marked the beginning of a new chapter for the brand in China.”

Culture & society

How to Secure a Country" Wins the Punctum Award
Published by, December 4th 2018
A long-awaited surprise! We are extremely excited to announce that Swiss-based photographer Salvatore Vitale has been awarded the grand prize -- the Punctum Award, by Lianzhou Foto Festival. His work series that won the title is “How to Secure a Country”, a long-term project that explores the invisibility, fluidity, and abstractness of Switzerland’s national security program. This project has received the 2015-16 grant from The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, and is then awarded with the PHMuseum Award in 2017. Salvatore Vitale has previously participated in the group exhibition “Follow_Me: New narratives in contemporary photography, China – Switzerland” at OCAT Shanghai and Shenzhen, co-curated by Peter Pfrunder and Shi Hantao. The judges commented on Salvatore Vitale's work: "Serious and original, a huge work on a very precise subject: security in Switzerland, a topic that concerns our contemporary society, about how power can be used to run or treat our life." Myriads of initiatives like "Follow_Me" and its follow-up projects exemplify how we seek to open the door towards the Chinese art scene for promising Swiss artists. Continue to explore our unmissable events in many other fields, and wish you an inspirational read ahead.

general intereST

High-Precision Navigation for Driverless Cars
Published by, November 29th 2018
Fixposition is an ETH spin-off specialising in real-time navigation systems for use in self-driving vehicles, robots or industrial drones. Using a combination of satellite-based positioning systems such as GPS with computer vision technologies, the young entrepreneurs have managed to achieve an unparalleled degree of precision. Visits to Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Hong Kong and to the recent World Economic Forum conference in Tianjin: Lukas Meier and Zhenzhong Su completed a strenuous two-week tour of China in September. The ETH spin-off was chosen as one of ten companies making up the Swiss national start-up team and took part in the trip to China organised by Venturelab, a funding body that supports young entrepreneurs. "It was helpful for making initial contacts with investors," Meier explains. But it was his co-founder Su who had to work the hardest. "It was often the case that we spent half an hour chatting with potential investors in English, but then Su would switch to Chinese and suddenly everyone became clear about everything." They both had to laugh as Meier tells the story from his point of view. Su had an advantage that could be crucial for breaking into China's market: he is Chinese.


Helsinn and Mundipharma China Pharmaceutical Announce Approval of ALOXI® IV by the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA)
Published by, December 3rd 2018
Helsinn Group, a Swiss pharmaceutical group focused on building quality cancer care products, and Mundipharma China Pharmaceutical, the market leader of pain management, today jointly announce that ALOXI® IV has received approval from the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA). This is the first Helsinn cancer supportive care product to be approved for marketing in China. Mundipharma China Pharmaceutical has exclusive marketing, promotion and sale rights for ALOXI® in China. Riccardo Braglia, Helsinn Group Vice Chairman and CEO, commented: “ALOXI® IV is our first cancer supportive care product to be approved by the NMPA and we are delighted that it will soon be available to patients also in China. In the countries where ALOXI® IV has been launched so far, ALOXI® has been central to the prevention of CINV for many years and has helped define the standard of care for this condition. In China, we are collaborating with our longstanding and trusted partner, Mundipharma China Pharmaceutical, and we look forward to working with them to bring this product to the many patients in China that suffer from CINV.”
Flour Seminar Brings Together Chinese Millers, Bakers
Published by, December 3rd 2018
Bühler Bangsheng Food Ingredients China organized a flour seminar Octotber 10th – 11th in Zhangjiajie, China. Over 230 major customers and partners from the flour milling and baking industry in China attended the two-day event, which featured 12 speakers. The seminar aimed to provide a wide range of the latest knowledge and information on millers’ market challenges and opportunities, flour quality, product innovation, healthy grains, milling solutions, digitalization and intelligent mill. “The speakers at the seminar gave us a lot of valuable information, knowledge and solutions to share with our customers in the milling and baking industry,” said David Wang, president of Bühler Asia. “By providing a forum for this exchange of views and transfer of knowledge, we are sure the millers will meet those challenges in their future work.”
GF Receives Record Orders for E-Mobility in China
Published by, November 23rd 2018
GF Casting Solutions will supply a large number of lightweight components for a new generation of electric vehicles in China. The new contracts amount more than CHF 300 million. One major order amounts to CHF 235 million and contains light metal e-drive components for a completely new developed e-vehicle platform from a well-known European car manufacturer. The lightweight parts will be produced at the Suzhou (China) plant of GF Casting Solutions as of 2019. This large contract is part of a whole series of new orders for e-cars which has been placed in the last few months for a total value of approximately CHF 370 million. The high number of new orders underscores GF Casting Solutions' lightweight competence in the fast-growing e-mobility market segment in China. Lightweight design is an important factor to improve the range of electric cars. Already 30% of all worldwide orders obtained in 2018 by the division were for components and solutions for hybrid and electric cars. For the Chinese market, this ratio exceeds 50%.

Women in Asia are a Growing Luxury Force, Report Shows
Published by, December 4th 2018
Women — especially in China — are playing an increasingly big role in Asia's luxury spending. That is a key finding of Wealth Report Asia 2018, Bank Julius Baer's latest look into high-end consumption in the region released Tuesday. It tracks the spending habits of so-called high-net-worth individuals, which the Swiss private banking group said have "net investable wealth" of more than USD 1 million, excluding property in which they mainly reside. It said that the growing buying power of wealthy Asian women is driven by factors including more of them in senior management positions and more self-made female millionaires. And while China continues to dominate overall global luxury spending — accounting for 30% — women are becoming an increasing force in that aspect of conspicuous consumption in the world's second-largest economy. "In terms of how much they buy, women actually account for half of Chinese luxury spending," Julius Baer's Pearlyn Wong, executive director for markets and advisory solutions in the Asia Pacific, told reporters while introducing the findings. The report described that as a trend that's been developing for the past five years.
UBS to Take Majority Stake in China Joint Venture
Published by, December 1st 2018
UBS will become the first foreign bank in China to increase its stake in a local securities joint venture to 51%, in a sign that the country is making good on promises to open up its financial sector to overseas competition. The Swiss bank said on Saturday that it had gained clearance from the China Securities Regulatory Commission to take its holdings in Beijing-based UBS Securities from 24.99% to 51%. Foreign banks and other financial institutions have spent more than a decade seeking to gain stronger control over their businesses in China but have faced a number of setbacks and unwillingness from regulators to review the rules. But over the past year pressure has built on China’s top leadership to allow foreign banks more access to the market if they expect similar treatment overseas. Regulators have vowed to speed up the process and in April gave clearer timeframes for allowing banks, securities companies, asset managers and insurers to take majority stakes and full ownership of their local operations. Last week France’s Axa bought the 50% of Chinese joint venture Axa Tianping that it did not already own, in a deal that was flagged as an industry first in China. Germany’s Allianz also said last week that it had gained approval to set up a wholly-owned holding company in the country. JPMorgan and Nomura have applied to take majority stakes in Chinese joint ventures, while Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have expressed interest to do so. Regulatory approval to take a 51% stake in a securities company is only part of the challenges facing foreign banks in China. They must also convince local shareholders to sell their shares.
Global Banks Battle to Handle Private Wealth in China
Published by, November 28th 2018
In the cutthroat market for Asian private bankers, you’re either a hunter or a farmer. International banks such as UBS Group and Credit Suisse Group are battling to hire wealth managers with portfolios worth hundreds of millions of dollars to gain a bigger share of Asia’s rapidly expanding pool of millionaires. Those recruits are known as the hunters. Their Chinese counterparts don’t have such a challenge gaining rich customers – they already have more than half a million wealthy clients in their home market. What they need are farmers who can grow offshore investments, helping rich Chinese investors navigate overseas markets. “We don’t need people to hunt for customers. We already have a lot of customers,” said Joseph Tam, head of private banking at Industrial Bank Co in Hong Kong. “Foreign banks are expanding their assets under management through hiring as they don’t really have the client pool.” What that means is that Asia’s booming private banking market is not just offering inflated salaries to poach existing wealth managers for international firms, but is also sucking in staff from commercial banks, insurance companies and brokerages to meet the needs of the big Chinese players, private bankers and recruiters said. In Hong Kong, there are about 3,800 wealth practitioners including relationship managers and investment advisers, according to the Private Wealth Management Association. But there are 100,000 in banking and 62,000 in insurance, according to the latest government statistics.


Perfume Group Joins Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in the 'Toilet Revolution'
Published by, November 30th 2018
Firmenich, the world's largest private company in the fragrance and flavor industry, is setting its sights on the opportunities unleashed by China's so-called "toilet revolution", the government-backed campaign that aims to improve the cleanliness and management of toilet facilities across the country. Firmenich CEO Gilbert Ghostine said the Swiss-based company is thrilled to be part of the new toilet economy. It is looking to assist sanitation challenges with its breakthrough odor control technologies, and aiming to drive up its business growth in China - already the company's second-largest market globally. "The 'toilet revolution' is a great initiative because it not only does well for Chinese citizens living in rural areas, but also is very good for the reputation of China, a major tourist destination in the world," said Ghostine, adding that he was impressed with the progress made since 2015, when the "toilet revolution" was launched. The company is now approaching Chinese partners to develop commercial solutions for the Chinese market, said Ghostine. China launched the "toilet revolution" in 2015 and has since built or renovated nearly 60,000 toilets. The Plan for Rural Revitalization (2018-22), issued by the central government in September, aims to achieve an 85% prevalence of clean toilets in rural areas by 2020.
Nestle Launches High-End Milk Powder
Published by, November 29th 2018
Leading food and beverage producer Nestle has launched a high-end milk powder for mothers in China, in collaboration with JD and baby product retailer Leyou, to earn more Chinese market share for the competitive maternity dairy product. The powder is the first product of this type by Nestle product to contain A2 beta casein. Nestle also has other maternity and baby nutrition products in the Chinese market. Nestle said the milk powder uses the A2 milk source, which passes DNA screening in pastures selected by Nestle and uses pure A2 cows. It provides A2 beta casein and makes moms' intestinal tracts more comfortable, contains nutritional ingredients and helps moms with weight management. Binu Jacob, senior vice-president of the Baby Nutrition Business Unit for Nestle China, said: "Nestle Infant & Mom has been devoted to providing high-quality, innovative and scientific nutrition and service for the first 1,000 days of life.” He estimated about 80 percent of the sales of this product will come from first- and second-tier cities in China. Nestle is one of many milk powder brands that have developed specific products for mothers and expectant mothers, a rapidly growing market in the country despite its smaller scale compared with the infant and baby formula milk powder market.

Join the 2019 Swiss Business in China Survey
Published by, November 23rd 2018
We kindly invite you to participate in the 2019 China Business Survey, developed in collaboration with the Swiss Embassy, Switzerland Global Enterprise, SwissCham, Swissnex, China Integrated and the China Europe International Business School, the No. 1 Business School in Asia for Executive education. It is the international business survey collecting by far the largest number of replies in China and the only one that includes and compares with the opinion of managers of Chinese companies and allows an analysis of Chinese and foreign SMEs in China. Last year’s CEIBS survey received replies from close to 1000 companies, among which there were over 100 decision makers from Swiss enterprises.  It is believed to be representative of the approximately 600 Swiss companies that have established operations in China. The 2018 survey showed continued growth and good results; still for the first time Swiss companies were less optimistic for the long term. Click and download the 2018 survey to understand the challenges and opportunities for improvement identified as well as how Swiss companies are competing for success in China.
2018 APEC CEO Survey - China Report
Published by, November 15th 2018
The global trade environment is in a state of flux. Headlines of evolving trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies have dominated media space and added to the complexity of business environment in Asia Pacific, where over 60% of global trade activities take place. Business leaders in the region were caught off guard not only by the degree and scope of impact from the trade complexity, but also by the speed at which new events were unfolding on the trade front. The prevailing trade rules were being challenged and old business models were being displaced by new thinking. In last year’s report we explored the opportunities and challenges presented to Chinese firms amid the new economic reality as China transitions to taking on a more prominent role on the world’s stage. This year we rescanned the environment to test the validity of the trade rhetoric and what has really changed in the minds of business leaders. Apart from an overview of business confidence and investment orientation, we also probe into what new opportunities are arising from global trade; where businesses situate along the curve of digital maturity; how government initiatives are driving corporate strategies, and above all else how businesses are building resilience and agility to stay competitive.

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